Guinea Police Clash With Protesters, 2 Dead

Posted September 27th, 2011 at 1:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Witnesses in Guinea say at least two people have been killed in clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters.

The fighting erupted Tuesday in the capital, Conakry, after police and paramilitary forces prevented opposition supporters from gathering for a rally. Opposition leaders had called the rally to protest the government's handling of upcoming parliamentary elections.

Witnesses say security forces fired tear gas and wielded batons to disband the protesters, some of whom were throwing rocks.

A coalition of opposition groups have accused President Alpha Conde of attempting to rig the election to ensure he wins a majority in parliament. The election is expected to be held by the end of this year.

Mr. Conde took office in December after winning Guinea's first democratic election since the country won independence in 1958.

Ahead of the planned demonstration, Guinea's military ordered its soldiers to stay in their barracks.

The military has been accused of taking part in past massacres of opposition demonstrators. Wednesday marks the two-year anniversary of a massacre at a Conakry stadium in which more than 150 people were killed.

A group of military officers ruled the country at that time, after seizing power nine months earlier.

A transition government led by General Sekouba Konate steered the country to a presidential election last year.